South Korea and the United States staged a friendship flight this week as part of a remembrance ceremony for a late US veteran who helped rescue around 1,000 orphans during the 1950-53 Korean War, officials said Friday.
The flight took place Thursday over the southern island of Jeju during the memorial for US Air Force Col. Dean Hess at the Jeju Aerospace Museum, involving three South Korean KF-16 jets and two US F-16 fighters, according to South Korea's armed service.
The five aircraft also had decals on their vertical tails commemorating the 70th anniversary of the two countries' alliance.
The ceremony, which also involved a memorial flight by the South Korean Air Force's Black Eagles aerobatic team, was attended by the late veteran's sons, South Korean and US officials, and five of the orphans who were airlifted to safety due to Hess' efforts.
Hess took part in a rescue operation in December 1950 to airlift about 1,000 war orphans from Seoul to Jeju. He later helped establish an orphanage on the island and led fundraising activities for the war orphans for over two decades.
The US veteran died on March 2, 2015. The Air Force has held an annual remembrance ceremony for Hess since 2017. (Yonhap)